Draft Law on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

North Macedonia: Proposed novelties in the legislation related to cannabis for medical purposes

In recent years, the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes has been a “hot” topic in North Macedonia. In 2016, the country regulated the procedure for the cultivation and production of hemp and hemp extracts. Since then, in line with publicly available information, over 60 approvals for the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes have been issued.

To further regulate this area, the Government of North Macedonia (“Government”) had prepared a new draft Law on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (“Draft Law”).

As one of the most important novelties of the Draft Law is the possibility to export dried flowers obtained by cultivating cannabis for medical purposes. This will allow cannabis cultivators to place the already produced quantities of dry herbal products on the world market, provided that international conventions and legislation governing the matter are respected.

The Draft Law also improves the efficiency of the procedure for issuance of an approval for cultivation of cannabis and envisages the establishment of a new state body – Agency for Cannabis for Medical and Scientific Purposes. The main purpose of this new body will be to conduct the administrative and expert works related to the control of cannabis cultivation, extraction, and production of cannabis and products containing cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.

It is expected that the regular parliamentary procedure for the adoption of the Draft Law will be conducted soon. The adoption of the Draft Law will open additional business opportunities related to the cultivation, production, and trade of cannabis for medical purposes in North Macedonia, making the country an even more desired destination for investments in this sector.

The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.